Kerio customers have long been making decisions about which anti-virus solution they choose to run with their Kerio product. Over the time, we've seen a gradual shift towards Sophos and declining preferences for other AV options. This puts us on the path of redesigning our AV offering.
Some numbers first - Just under 60% of our customers now use the built-in Sophos. About 35 percent use no AV at all (which in most cases mean that they use a combination of network perimeter-based, server-based or client-based antivirus solution). Our most popular antivirus plug-in ClamAV has dropped below 2% across the entire install base.
This prompts us to focus on Sophos and drop the existing plug-ins from the existing feature set. Starting this fall, we will begin the process of removing plug-ins for AVG, ESET and ClamAV from Kerio Control and Kerio Connect. Sophos Antivirus protection will be an optional paid component of Kerio Connect, Kerio Control and Kerio Workspace, available for any existing or new license.
While in the future we won't ship anti-virus plug-ins with any of our products, we will, however, release the Kerio AV API to allow anybody to hook up a third-party antivirus solution right into their Kerio product. To make your life easier, we will also open source a reference implementation, based on our current ClamAV plug-in. Both will be available on the Developer Zone.
You will be able to buy Kerio products with or without Sophos anti-virus security service, depending on your preferences. Sophos antivirus service for Kerio only costs $3 per user.
If you read this blog regularly, you probably know Kerio has pioneered Alternative IT. The alternative approach is geared toward making technology simple, flexible and accessible. Alternative IT wins out because it just makes sense.
Beyond fitting into the Alternative IT approach, there are several practical reasons for the upcoming change in the anti-virus offering:
- Our technology partnership with Sophos lets us provide customers with the best possible anti-malware solution for email, web and file security. Our close collaboration with Sophos' engineering team on changes in Sophos DLL, API, etc. is giving us great control over the final implementation.
- External anti-virus plug-ins sometimes cause a bit of a headache. As APIs change with new versions, Kerio must promptly adjust and test our plug-ins. On occasion it takes a fair amount of time to support the latest version, which leaves customers vulnerable - and that's not acceptable.
- Installation and configuration is simple with an integrated antivirus. We think customers will sleep better at night knowing Sophos is a "checkbox" turned on.
We will transition to the new model with optional embedded Sophos antivirus protection in two simple steps:
- Later this year, we will remove the anti-virus plug-in dialog from the admin interfaces of Kerio Control 7.4 and Kerio Connect 7.5. A fresh new installation is not going to show the existing AV plug-in options dialog. You will see a simple checkbox to enable Sophos. If you currently use AVG, ESET, or ClamAV with one of our products, software upgrade will preserve the UI and you won't see any change just yet.
- Next year, we will remove the plug-in code from the products completely. If you upgrade from a version, that has AVG/ESET/ClamAV plug-in configured, you won't see the AV plug-in dialog anymore and your external AV will be disconnected from your Kerio product.
Now, there might be a good reason for you to continue using AVG or ESET, especially if you got these products in a packaged deal. Both vendors have gateway anti-virus software products that you can switch to and use them alongside Kerio Control and Kerio Connect.
ESET Mail Security for Linux / BSD / Solaris
ESET Gateway Security for Linux / BSD / Solaris
AVG Linux Server Edition
AVG Email Server Edition
Original article available on our blog.